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Configure audit polices manually08/05/2018

Audit policies must be configured to ensure that events are logged whenever any activity occurs.

  • Log in to any computer that has the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) with Domain Admin credentials, then open the GPMC.
  • Create a new domain-level GPO: Right-click your domain, select Create a GPO in this domain and Link it here, then name the GPO "ADAuditPlusMSPolicy”.

Note: Since configuring audit policies on individual computers is an elaborate  process, a domain-level GPO is created and applied on all monitored computers.

1.  Uncheck Apply Group Policy privilege for Authenticated Users in the ADAuditPlusMSPolicy GPO

Click ADAudit PlusMSPolicy, navigate to the right panel, and then select the Delegation tab → Advanced → Authenticated Users. Remove the Apply Group Policy permission.

General Settings under the Admin tab
2. Create a new group, add all Windows servers that need to be audited to the group, and link the ADAuditPlusMSPolicy GPO to the group:
  1. Log in to your domain controller with Domain Admin privileges. Open Active Directory Users and Computers, right-click on your domain, then select New → Group. Name the group "ADAuditPlusMS”.
  2. Add all the audited computers as members of the ADAuditPlusMS group: Right-click the ADAuditPlusMSPolicy GPO, then select Properties → Members. Add all the Windows servers that you wish to audit.
  3. Add the ADAuditPlusMS group to the security filter settings of the ADAuditPlusMSPolicy GPO: Open the GPMC, then select Domain. Select the ADAuditPlusMSPolicy GPO, navigate to the right panel, and click on the Delegation tab. Select Advanced, then add the ADAuditPlusMS group.
3. Configure advanced audit policies 

Advanced audit policies help administrators exercise granular control over which activities get recorded in the logs, helping cut down on event noise. We recommend configuring advanced audit policies on Windows Server 2008 and above.

  1. Log in to any computer that has the GPMC with Domain Admin credentials. Open the GPMC, then right-click ADAuditPlusMSPolicy and select Edit.
  2. In the Group Policy Management Editor, go to Computer Configuration → Policies → Windows Settings → Security Settings → Advanced Audit Policy Configuration → Audit Policy. Double-click on the relevant policy setting. 
  3. Navigate to the right pane and right-click on the relevant Subcategory. Select Properties, then choose Success, Failure, or both, as directed in the table below.
Category Subcategory Audit Events
Account Management
  • Audit Computer Account Management
  • Audit Distribution Group Management
  • Audit Security Group Management
  • Audit User Account Management
Success
Success and Failure
Detailed Tracking
  • Audit Process Creation
  • Audit Process Termination
Success
DS Access
  • Audit Directory Service Changes 
  • Audit Directory Service Access
Success
Logon/Logoff
  • Audit Logon
  • Audit Network Policy Server
  • Audit Other Logon/Logoff Events
  • Audit Logoff
Success and Failure
Success
Object Access
  • Audit File System
  • Audit Handle Manipulation
  • Audit File Share
Success and Failure
Policy Change
  • Audit Authentication Policy Change
  • Audit Authorization Policy Change
Success
System
  • Audit Security State Change
Success
General Settings under the Admin tab

Image showing: Account Logon category → Audit Kerberos Authentication Service subcategory → Both Success and Failure configured.

4. Force advanced audit policies

When using advanced audit policies, ensure that they are forced over legacy audit policies. 

  1. Log in to any computer that has the GPMC with Domain Admin credentials. Open the GPMC, right-click ADAuditPlusMSPolicy, then select Edit.
  2. In the Group Policy Management Editor, go to Computer Configuration → Policies → Windows Settings → Security Settings → Local Policies → Security Options.
  3. Navigate to the right pane, then right-click Audit: Force audit policy subcategory settings. Select Properties, then Enable.
General Settings under the Admin tab
5. Configure legacy audit policies

Due to the unavailability of advanced audit policies in Windows Server 2003 and earlier versions, legacy audit policies need to be configured for these types of servers.

  1. Log in to any computer that has the GPMC with Domain Admin credentials. Open the GPMC, right-click ADAuditPlusMSPolicy, then select Edit.
  2. In the Group Policy Management Editor, go to Computer Configuration → Policies → Windows Settings → Security Settings → Local Policies, and double-click Audit Policy.
  3. Navigate to the right pane and right-click on the relevant policy. Select Properties, then choose Success, Failure, or both, as directed in the table below:
  4. Category Audit Events
    Account Logon Success and Failure
    Audit Logon/Logoff Success and Failure
    Account Management Success
    Directory Service Access Success
    Process Tracking Success
    Object Access Success
     System Events  Success
General Settings under the Admin tab

Image showing: Audit account logon events category → Both Success and Failure configured.

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